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MarkeTeam launched Smile Train’s fundraising program over 15 years ago and a myriad of creative approaches have been tested over the years.

Currently, the acquisition control package is a World Map package that has been difficult to beat due to its combination of an upfront premium with relatively inexpensive cost. The goal was to create an acquisition package that included an upfront premium that could provide enough lift to justify the incremental, increased cost and to maintain a comparable net/donor to the control, while still being mission oriented.


In order to compete with the World Map control package, a Puzzle kit was developed that featured an upfront puzzle premium showcasing an image of a train, branded with the organization’s logo, and is kid friendly. The package features the premium through a window on the reverse of the outer envelope. The kit was specifically designed to mail letter rate to replicate the postage costs of the control. 


The Puzzle provided a 71% lift in response over the control, although there was an 18% degradation in average gift. Even though the puzzle package is $100/M more expensive at roll-out pricing, the overall net/donor improved significantly with the new package. Maintaining the same investment level, the mailing volume was reduced by 20% and provided about 37% more donors for Smile Train. This package won a 2019 MAXI Award for the results and innovative creative approach.

Brian O'Keefe Senior Vice President of Client Services